Covid-19: facts and prevention on the alarming disease
18 December 2020
Generali Global Health and our global partners are committed to assisting members while we continue to learn about the impact and the global reach of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
On the 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a pandemic. A pandemic is declared when there is no immunity for a new disease and the disease spreads around the world beyond expectations.
Eight months later, the pandemic continues to influence our life choices, our environment and, until a vaccine is approved by the WHO, our future. Many, if not all, of us have faced mandated lockdowns and a loss of social contact with the goal of containing the virus. It is important to note that the virus can be contained if the chain of transmission is broken but containment requires a united and consistent effort.
In addition to containment efforts, the WHO reports, over 100 COVID-19 vaccine candidates under development, with a number of these in the human trial phase. In 2021, as vaccine(s) are proven to be safe and effective, a fair and equitable distribution plan will be required to protect people in all counties, with those at risk prioritised.
AS A GENERALI MEMBER WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
As we continue to learn about the prevention, symptoms and the long-term effects of COVID-19; we continue to review our policies. Our current position remains unchanged and we continue to treat COVID-19 as we would any other comparable disease, i.e., seasonal flu. As such, policyholders are subject to the following parameters:
- Individuals must follow the directions of the local health authority and make appropriate use of available healthcare services and facilities i.e., government sponsored services and facilities
- In policies with an exclusion, the Hospital Cash Benefit, if applicable, is suspended in relation to COVID-19. If the policy DOES NOT have an exclusion for epidemics or pandemics the Hospital Cash Benefit will be available for use based on the terms and conditions of the policy
- Costs associated with self-isolation or pre-cautionary quarantine will not be covered
- COVID-19 medical costs incurred when travelling to a country or specific area which the Government or Embassy of your country of residence has advised against travelling to may be denied unless deemed essential by either country.
- Frequently wash your hands with warm/hot water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Maintain a social distance from others of at least 2 meters
- Wear a mask
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Follow good respiratory hygiene by ensuring you cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, especially high traffic areas eg. door handles, faucets, taps and phone screens
Be in a Safe Environment ~ Avoid the three Cs
Stay safe by avoiding spaces that are Closed (limited air circulation or inside), Crowded or require Close contact with others.
On a daily basis, we have access to large amounts of COVID-19 information and not all of it is reliable. Ensure the information you review is from a reliable source like the WHO and educate yourself with fact vs. myth.
- FACT: Vitamin and mineral supplements cannot cure COVID-19
- FACT: People should NOT wear masks while exercising
- FACT: The likelihood of shoes spreading COVID is very low
- FACT: Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort DOES NOT mean you are free from COVID-19.
The WHO is dedicated to “flattening the infodemic ” curve and we encourage you to review the information available.
For more WHO info, visit:
What is COVID-19?
The Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to a more severe respiratory syndrome. COVID-19 is an abbreviation of the current Coronavirus Disease 2019.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
There are currently over 100 vaccines in development, some of which have been approved for use by some of the local health regulators.
Will this year’s influenza (flu) vaccine protect me from COVID-19?
No, the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19.
How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?
The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Current estimates of the incubation period range from 1 to 14 days, and most commonly around five days.
What treatment is available for COVID-19?
Currently, there is no universal treatment for COVID-19. Your healthcare provider will recommend steps to take to relieve symptoms. The sooner a healthcare provider is contacted the better your chances of recovery. Your healthcare provider may advise you to self-isolate until recovery or for 14 days. Only treatment approved by the World Health Organization or the local health regulatory body will be covered by your health insurance policy.
After 14 days of self-isolation, do I need to repeat the COVID-19 test? Will my health insurance policy cover the cost associated with repeat test and visit to my general practitioner?
Your healthcare provider will advise you of the appropriate next steps in your treatment plan. At this time, benefits for consultations and testing would apply as indicated in your policy document.
Does wearing a mask help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Masks offer some protection and can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if you are suffering from coronavirus but not showing symptoms.”
How can the spread of the infection be prevented?
The spread of COVID-19 can be prevented by:
- Washing hands with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others
- Avoiding crowded spaces or being in close contact with a large group.
Can I travel even if I have no symptoms?
Globally, all non-essential travel is discouraged to prevent the spread of the virus as well as the potential infection. You can refer to the travel advice offered by the government of your country of residence, as well as the destination country.
Can I use Telemedicine for a COVID-19 assessment?
Many jurisdictions are mandating contact with healthcare providers be via telemedicine vs. an in-office visit. Telemedicine will be covered in place of an office visit where appropriate and is limited to acute or COVID-19 related treatment unless otherwise noted.
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HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY
Does my health insurance policy have a medical exclusion for epidemics or pandemics?
Certain policies do have an exclusion for epidemics and pandemics.
Will Generali cover my costs related to a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, if there is an epidemic or pandemic exclusion in my policy?
As this is an evolving situation, our policy will be routinely reviewed, however our current position is not to enforce the exclusion related to epidemics and pandemics. We will treat COVID-19 as we would any other comparable disease; i.e., seasonal flu, subject to:
- Individuals following the directions of the local health authority and making appropriate use of healthcare services and facilities that have been made available; i.e., government sponsored services and facilities.
- If your health insurance policy does not have an exclusion for epidemics or pandemics you will have access to the Hospital Cash Benefit as described in the policy.
- Costs associated with self-isolation or pre-cautionary quarantine will not be covered.
- Medical costs incurred where you have travelled to a country or specific area which your Government or Embassy (in your country of residence) have advised against traveling to under any circumstances may not be covered unless deemed essential by either country.
Is testing for the COVID-19 considered to be a part of the wellness benefit?
COVID-19 testing is not part of the wellness benefit, however if the member presents with flu like symptoms the benefits for consultations and testing would apply as indicated in the policy document.
Are COVID-19 vaccinations covered by my policy?
If your policy includes the vaccination outpatients benefit, then COVID-19 vaccinations are included under this benefit, subject to benefit limits and the policy terms and conditions.
- The vaccine must be approved by the local health regulator.
- Your policy must have coverage for vaccinations, unless otherwise mandated by the local health regulator.
- You must have cover in the geographical area in which the service is being rendered.
Do I have coverage for pharmaceutical drugs as prescribed by my doctor to combat COVID-19?
Currently there is no universal treatment for COVID-19. Only treatment approved by the World Health Organization, or the local health regulatory body, will be recognized and covered by your health insurance policy.
Are the costs of surgical masks and pharmacy supplies covered by my health insurance policy?
Consumable medical supplies such as masks, gloves, or hand sanitiser are not covered by the health insurance policy unless prescribed during an inpatient stay.
Will my health insurance policy cover expenses for an evacuation due to COVID-19?
An evacuation would not be covered if the sole purpose of the evacuation is to be extracted from a COVID-19 impacted country. If you have a medical episode which necessitates an eligible evacuation from your current location to the closest appropriate medical facility – our Air Ambulance partners have taken full precautions to ensure a safe transfer. Please note entry into and exit out of a country is dependent on local rules and this can influence transfer decisions.
Will I be penalised for going to an out of network or different network tier Healthcare Provider?
Network restrictions, if applicable, will continue to apply as per the terms and conditions of your health insurance policy. We will waive this restriction IF your local health authority has mandated the public to use a specific Healthcare Provider, which is not in the Generali Global Medical Network.
Additional information can be found on the WHO website at: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.
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